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Putin: Russia's Choice, 2nd edition by Richard Sakwa

By Richard Sakwa

The recent variation of this super well-received political biography of Vladimir Putin builds at the strengths of the 1st version to supply the main certain and nuanced account of the guy, his politics and his profound impact on Russian politics, overseas coverage and society.  New to this version: research of Putin's moment time period as President extra biographical details within the gentle of modern study designated dialogue of alterations to the coverage technique and the ?lites round Putin advancements in state-society family members together with the conflicts with oligarchs corresponding to Khodorkovsky assessment of adjustments affecting the celebration procedure and electoral laws, together with the advance of federalism in Russia information on financial functionality lower than Putin, together with extra dialogue of the strength area and pipeline politics Russia’s courting with NATO after the ‘big bang’ growth, EU-Russian relatives after expansion, and Russia’s family members with different post-Soviet states the realization brings us up to date with debates over the query of democracy in Russia at the present time and the character of Putin’s management and his position on the earth. Putin is key examining for all students and scholars of Russian politics.

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Extra resources for Putin: Russia's Choice, 2nd edition

Example text

With Yeltsin’s declining health and vigour, the trend with the last few prime ministers had been in this direction anyway. All had seen their popularity ratings soar on appointment, and the office of prime minister (as in other semi-presidential systems such as France) is the natural springboard for the presidency. Fourth, Putin appeared able to restore Russia’s national dignity, adopting neither an obsequiously subservient nor an impotently assertive attitude towards the West. Putin tried to find a measured understanding of Russia’s real needs and capacity.

He could take credit for the raft of good economic news that began at this time and continued into his presidency: economic growth, rising living standards and resolute attempts to deal with wage arrears. Although formally liable to dismissal by Yeltsin at any time, Putin in the last months of 1999 acted with extraordinary confidence and independence. 132 Putin was able to transform the prime-ministerial office into a quasi-presidential post, eclipsing Yeltsin personally. In the past whenever any politician threatened to outshine him, Yeltsin immediately cut his potential rival down to size.

133 It soon became clear to both domestic and foreign observers that Putin represented a new breed of Russian politician, honest and intelligent and untainted by any demonstrable corruption. Putin clearly cared about Russia more than his personal interests. 134 He quickly came to epitomise Russia, its sufferings and its aspirations and thus he was to become ‘the president of hope’. The 19 December 1999 parliamentary elections and the succession On the eve of the election Nikolai Petrov wrote: ‘The political era associated with the name of B.

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